Achieving a high level of maturity in PMO project management can save your organization time, resources and money, streamline operations and create a more cohesive organization. It also has exceptional benefits that are realized over time as implementation becomes methodology. The greatest of these benefits is found in how PMO Maturity sets up an organization for long-term success through innovation, growth and advancement.
PMO Maturity Supports Business Innovation
Deniz A. Johnson of Project Management Institute notes that mature PMOs focus on innovation and explains the function of PMO innovation with the following definition, “Innovation for a PMO involves defining the service offerings proactively and focusing on the end game from an enterprise point of view.” Based upon that definition, it’s easy to see how PMO maturity and PMO innovation translate into broader business innovation.
A mature PMO that operates with organizational success as the ultimate goal, as opposed to functioning solely as a project completion unit, becomes a critical ally in driving organizational success. For a mature PMO, project completion is not just a matter of how many projects are finished on time and under budget. The quality, output and the resulting business value are just as important. A mature PMO boosts business innovation through:
Careful Project Selection
The PMO elevates projects that take the company in new directions, improve upon already great ideas or support the new direction or improvement of other areas of business development.
Proper Resource Allocation
The PMO distributes resources to projects that advance business goals first. The PMO eliminates resource waste on projects that boil down to busywork or meaningless accomplishments.
A mature PMO adopts an Agile mindset, focusing on product delivery instead of project delivery. Agility allows adaptability on the fly, empowering team members to innovate and make changes that enhance final deliverables and focus on customer satisfaction.
A mature PMO has broad visibility of organizational timelines allowing them to arrange project order for faster delivery, freeing up time to tackle new endeavors. Additionally, PMOs increase productivity through a focus on better time management, which translates into more opportunities for agility and innovation.
PMO Maturity Enhances Business Growth
PMO maturity enhances business growth in three ways. First, a mature PMO cuts down on the costly waste that drags businesses down. Poor investments, bad time management, clumsy resource allocation and stunted productivity all hamper business growth. A strong PMO ends these business killers, freeing up room to grow in areas that deliver actual value.
Second, a mature PMO speeds up processes which results in faster delivery on initiatives. Not only does that create more room in the project pipeline, it builds brand value and cultivates a more dynamic customer experience.
Third, a mature PMO fosters innovation. Innovation supports business growth internally and externally. Internally, innovation leads to higher functionality and streamlined processes, not to mention greater agility. Externally, innovation leads to better products and services, faster delivery times and more satisfied customers. According to Johnson, “Success comes from how fast you can recognize the drivers and how well you adjust and innovate.”
PMO Maturity Leads to Business Advancement
With innovation and growth as two of the primary byproducts of PMO maturity, business advancement becomes a natural and positive consequence. An organization that is constantly working toward innovation is also an organization that is staying ahead of its competitors. So too does an organization that has propelled its growth to new heights through internal transformation that focuses on broad enterprise success. Johnson explains PMO support for business advancement as such, “A key success indicator is when the PMO is seen as a strategic and a competitive advantage for the organization.”
A mature PMO — a PMO that works as a business partner instead of an outsourced task master — strives to make meaningful decisions in project management that focus on innovation, growth and advancement. Or, as Johnson so succinctly says it, “Transform your PMO, transform yourself.”
 Johnson, D. A. (2013). Technology, maturity, and innovation—the new PMO. Paper presented at PMI® Global Congress 2013—EMEA, Istanbul, Turkey. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.
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Rachel Hentges is challenging PMO leaders to think differently about their role. Rachel is the author of key industry related surveys, reports, blogs and more that challenge the status quo of today’s PMOs.